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BUSINESS SHORTS

UniBanka and HVB Bank merged

UNICREDIT Bank Slovakia entered the Slovak market on April 2.

The UniCredit bank is the product of in a merger of UniBanka and HVB Bank. Its director Jozef Barta said the transfer to a new IT system was without considerable complications, only some minor technical problems.

UniCredit Bank has become the fourth biggest bank in Slovakia with 93 branches across the country. It intends to close down several subsidiaries, but only those deemed inefficient or too close to another branch of the bank. The new bank is planning to expand its branch network over the coming months. It will first focus on Bratislava, where it intends to strengthen its position.

Branch design will gradually change and branches will be divided into three types: 'self-servicing', 'fast' and 'consulting'.

UniBanka and HVB Bank Slovakia's shareholders definitively approved the merger on February 20. UniCredit and Bank Austria Creditanstalt announced the planned merger of their affiliations at the beginning of April 2006. The universal leasing company CAC Leasing is part of the UniCredit group in Slovakia. As of April its name changed to UniCredit Leasing.

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